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Becca Langsford (UK)
Big Surprise

©Becca Langsford 2011


Becca Langsford - Vocals, Percussion
Vince Lee - Vocals, Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Dobro, Piano, Double Bass,
Percussion, Mandocaster, Washboard, Kazoo, Jug, Ukulele, Lapsteel, Skulls
Sebastian Boleslawski - Drums, Percussion, Shouts
Timmy Langsford - Drums, Percussion
Patrick James Pearson - Violins, Tenor Saxophone
Ian Pettit - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet
George Comer - Tenor Saxophone
Paul Harris - Hammond Organ
Ian Langsford - Harmonica
Esther Alexandra - Backing Vocal
Alex Hart - Backing Vocal

Becca Langsford is a young blues singer hailing from Cornwall in the UK. Having been raised listening to the likes of Taj Mahal, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin has given her an early insight into Blues, Soul and Gospel Music. No stranger to live performance, Becca has been singing at concerts and family gatherings for as long as she can remember. In 2008, after moving to Plymouth to study, Becca met guitarist Vince Lee (of internationally acclaimed blues/roots band 'The Wildcards') and was invited to sing with him at a gig. They hit it off, and began working on a full set of material. After a while playing duo gigs with Vince around the Southwest, they began the tracking for Becca's debut album, recorded at Ladywell Studios and PMC studios, Plymouth.

"I first heard Becca sing at one of my gigs, in our hometown Plymouth, down in the South West of England. Becca’s brother Thomas Ford was playing harmonica in the band that night, and he told me I should get his little sister up to sing a tune. I had briefly met her before, but didn’t know she was a singer. Becca was only 19 years old at the time and seemed quite nervous, but from the moment she started to sing it was obvious that she had an amazingly powerful voice. Soon after that show I asked Becca into the studio to add some backing vocals to some tunes I had been working on with my band The Big Combo. I found her very easy to work with and was surprised at her professionalism in the studio environment. We have worked together on several recording projects since then, including two albums with Thomas Ford & The Dirty Harmonys and a guest appearance from Becca on The Wildcards latest album, ‘When The Moon Shines Bright’. Meanwhile, we have continued to perform together on a regular basis.

About a year ago we decided it was high time Becca recorded an album in her own right. To showcase her versatility as a blues singer, we chose a collection of classic songs taking in everything from 1920’s country blues to 50’s jump blues and Southern Soul. Included here are some of Becca’s earliest influences, Patsy Cline’s bluesy ‘Never No More’ and William Bell’s biggest hit ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’. There are guest appearances from some of her family members; her oldest brother Timmy Langsford engineered and played drums on 3 of the tracks, and Becca’s father Ian Langsford played harmonica on ‘Love Me Like A Man’. Still only 21 years old with years ahead to refine her style, I believe this record will set Becca on the road to a much larger audience. So if you haven’t already witnessed her live show, pour yourself a large one and turn the speakers up…You’re in for a BIG SURPRISE!"
Vince Lee - March - 2011


01. Born To Cry
02. King Size Papa
03. While I Wait For You
04. Big Surprise
05. Some These Days I'll Be Gone
06. Do It This Way
07. Love Me Like A Man
08. Hot And Cold Runnin' Tears
09. Can't Keep From Cryin'
10. Never No More
11. (You Don't) Miss Your Water
12. My Man's An Undertaker

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Album Review - Big Surprise
One of the best-kept secrets of the local music scene is about to be unveiled to Plymouth music fans at the International Barbican Jazz and Blues Festival, which takes place on our historic waterfront between Friday, April 29 and Monday, May 2.

On the Saturday night, in the main marquee on Commercial Wharf down by the Mayflower Steps, Plymouth's answer to Imelda May, city blues queen Becca Langsford will be headlining with her band at the official launch of her debut album Big Surprise.

Ardent blues fans will already be familiar with Becca, who can be heard in pubs and clubs belting out tunes alongside her ace guitarist partner Vince Lee. You may also have seen her singing as part of brother Thomas Ford's ensemble, the Dirty Harmonies, or even with Vince's Big Combo. But at last Becca will be taking centre stage in her own right.

It's going to be a family affair, for as well as her brother's participating in the line-up (brother Tim plays drums and also provided his studio for early experimentation), her dad is expected to come out of retirement to play harmonica - Ian Langsford will be fondly remembered by many as the initiator of the hugely popular Legal Eagle Blues Band, back in the '80s.

"It's such a lovely feeling to have my family playing alongside," says Becca, "but especially to have Dad involved as he is the reason we all got into the blues in the first place."

Ian also makes his way on to the album playing on Bonnie Raitt track Love Me Like a Man.

"Bonnie plays it with just acoustic guitar and vocal," says Vince, who is responsible for arranging and producing the album alongside Becca and also for playing most of the instruments on it: guitars and bass, lap steel guitar, ukulele, banjo, percussion and even a bit of piano. "If it ain't horns, keys, or drums it's probably me," he says.

"We have taken Bonnie's track, extended it and done it Chicago blues/Muddy Waters style, in a fight out between Ian on harp and me on guitar."
Vince and Becca trawled through each of their music collections to find the best tracks to showcase Becca's remarkable voice and the result is a diverse collection which is accessible even to non-blues fans. Album opener Born To Cry by Dion and the Belmonts is a fabulous a cappella number with Vince on bass boom, plus hand claps and foot stomps. By contrast While I Wait For You is a nice'n'easy, slow'n'sleazy smooch of a tune requiring a whopper of a voice, for which, needless to say, Becca comes up trumps.

There's the fab up-tempo hot jazz ditty Do It This Away, rehashed by Squirrel Nut Zippers, which is nigh on 1920s punk rock, and a sing-along banjo-lead Some These Days I'll Be Gone, but the best of the lot is arguably Miss Your Water, popularised by Taj Mahal.

"This one was the bane of my life," says Becca, "I thought I'd just be turning up to sing a few songs, but this was so difficult to sing and with great musicians like Paul Harris, Ian Petit George Comer and Vince performing with me, I knew I had to really nail it."

She did, and the track showcases her in belting ballad mode, allowing full throttle to those incredible pipes, bending the notes to perfection while injecting a life time of suffering into the lyrics.

Available at the Blues Fest gig and thereafter, Big Surprise is a phenomenal debut that will doubtless be the first step to the national and international recognition Becca surely deserves.

Clare Robinson, The Plymouth Evening Herald - 22nd April 2011


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